‘Genderless is not trend, but social phenomenon’
Simon Collins, former Dean of Parsons School of Design and founder of fashion institute FCD (Fashion Culture Design) said genderless is not a fashion trend, but a social phenomenon.
The fashion expert held a seminar during the 2017 Hera Seoul Fashion Week at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul last month to discuss the theme “Fashion in the Age of Genderless” with four other renowned fashion insiders. Federation francaise de la couture fashion & media director Laurence Sudre-Monnier, Italian Chamber of Fashion Buyers President Mario Dell’Oglio, Vogue U.K. fashion director Anders Christian Madsen and Selfridges Women’s Designwear buying manager Jeannie Lee participated in the seminar.
“I am afraid to talk about the topic genderless, which can create a lot of problems,” Collins said. “I thought about it a lot and it is not a trend. We talk about it as a social phenomenon these days.
“Genderless is about accepting everything. I can want to wear a skirt and it can be unflattering, but people should not criticize it.”
Madsen picked Louis XIV as the epitome of the genderless look. Louis XIV was the French king in the 17th century who favored wearing flamboyant gowns decorated with embroidery, and when he was young the prince wore dresses with women’s lace.
“The era is talking about no gender, but gender stays there. We just want to talk about a different side of gender. We are watching a new revolution in the field like when we first saw an alien in a film,” Madsen said.
Lee agreed the collections hung in department stores are no longer strange these days.
“This year’s Givenchy show had male and female models walk the same runway in Paris. Women can wear men’s clothing and you cannot tell if it was originally for men. I was surprised to watch Korean fashion shows mixing male models and female models in the same show. It looked very natural,” Lee said.
The Italian Chamber of Fashion Buyers president saw genderless as entertainment. He perceived it as the young generation’s way of promoting identity.
“The new generation wants attention. They want to say ‘I’m here.’ It is a flashy generation. Nobody wants to be anonymous. In this context, genderless is a new challenge for fashion designers. So we are witnessing genderless in every collection these days,” Dell’Oglio said.
From left, Selfridges Women’s Designwear Buying Manager Jeannie Lee, Vogue U.K. Fashion Director Anders Christian Madsen, Federation francaise de la couture Fashion & Media Director Laurence Sudre-Monnier, Italian Chamber of Fashion Buyers President...